Provençal Vegetable Soup

While in line at the grocery store, I fell for a basic marketing tactic and started looking at magazines at the checkout. Most had no appeal. At least not until I came across the Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best French Recipes. After thumbing through it quickly, I added it to my cart and took it home.

Last night, the rainy weather set the mood for soup. I remembered seeing a recipe for Provençal Vegetable Soup (aka Soupe au Pistou) in the magazine and decided to give it a try.

Soupe au Pistou

The vegetable soup itself is quite delicious. However, the shining star of the soup is the pistou. Pistou is basically the French cousin of the Italian basil pesto. It is bright sauce made with basil, Parmesan, garlic, and olive oil. I have three different types of basil growing in the backyard, so I used a combination of each. Unlike pesto, it does not have pine nuts.

Adding a dollop of pistou to the soup really infused it with a bright flavor of basil. The soup also went well with a few slices of grilled sourdough bread.

As spring gives way to summer, seek out a copy of Cook’s Illustrated All-Time Best French Recipes and use the fresh herbs and vegetables in this delicious soup.

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